Thursday, August 20, 2009

"I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence," ~ Robert Frost

Another year and I find myself wishing--again-- I'd planted more annuals. I say the very same thing every year but somehow just don't learn from my mistakes. Mid August and most of my perennials are about bloomed out and ready to rest and gather strength before the bitter winter sets in. Annuals have no such schedule programed into their subconscious. They are determined to live life to the fullest. Party like there's no tomorrow;)

I'm dedicating this post to my tithonia, Fiesta del sol, which I'm madly in love with. This is one annual I actually followed through and planted.

In the past I've grown tithonia Torch which is a big, five foot tall plant that always lists and then breaks whenever the wind blows. There simply are not enough stakes to keep Torch upright and its brittle stems in one piece through an Illinois summer.

Fiesta del sol is a much studier plant, two feet tall, compact and dense. Try as they may, summer thunderstorms with 40-mph winds have been unable to break Fiesta or even tip her a little;)

The blooms are two plus inches and a dark, bright orange, almost red. Normally monarch butterflies love tithonia blooms but this year there have been no butterfly visitors. Of course, it's not Fiesta's fault, there just aren't many monarchs in the area this summer.

Next year there will be many more Fiestas planted in my garden. Very, very easy to start from seed. So far no pests on my plants. The leaves are perfect, without a speck of disease and no insect holes.

Went with sister, Vicki, to see the movie Julie and Julia. We both enjoyed it a great deal.

The screenplay was adapted from Julia Child's autobiography, but the idea for the movie came from a blog by Julie Powell. Unhappy with her job and her new home in Queens, Julie P. began to post online about her attempts to cook all 524 recipes from Child's book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julia Child was such a larger than life character (pun intended). It was a pleasure to glimpse her exuberant personality and learn a little about her life. You'll also come away wondering how in the world they made Meryl Streep six foot two inches tall.

A fellow blogger called the movie a chick-flick. Maybe. I'd say it's a foodie flick. The very next day I began my search for a used copy of Julia Child's cookbook. Go see the movie and prepare to be inspired to whip up some French cuisine when you get home.


Susie said...

Hey Marnie, I didn't know about the Fiesta tithonia. I have only seen the taller version. So its' easy to grow from seed? I think I'll keep my eyes out for this next spring. This is a real beauty.

Thanks for the write up on the movie. I've been thinking of taking myself to see it. In addition to gardening I like cooking too and I was a fan of Julia Child.

Sherri said...

Thanks for the movie review! I want to see it. I read the book and wasn't impressed but heard the movie was great.

Pat said...

Thought it was a zinnia at first...think it's also called a Mexican sunflower. Looks very hardy and healthy. Nice rich orange color. I'm missing both zinnias and sunflowers this year.

Dawn said...

Thanks for the recommendation on the annual, it's on the list for next year.
I've heard wonderful things about Julia and Julie, Mr Childs (?) was quite the guy also.
Marnie, for not having a ounce of creativity you are a wealth of ideas! Thanks for the clariol hint, I never would of thought of that in a million years!

tina said...

Too fun about the movie. I think it would be great to see-chick flick or not. That fiesta looks great. I like that it is easy to start from seeds. I will be doing more seeds next year for sure.

Jann said...

Gorgeous flowers! I want to see that movie; really enjoy Meryl Streep's work.

marmee said... thess compact fiestas.
i shall love for them for next year. my sunflowers are starting to droop over from there heavy heads but the gold finches are eating away.

meryl streep might just be my favourite actress of all time...she is amazing. loved the french lt. women. and amy adams might be my new fave loved enchanted and a day in the life of miss pettigrew. she was brilliant in both of those. so i was excited to see the two of them together in this one. i want to go see it soon...thanks for the review.

Carol said...

Hi Marnie,
I love what you say about annuals living 'life to the fullest'... 'like there's no tomorrow'... and I too always regret not planting tons of annuals once this time of the garden is upon us. Beautiful orange in your tithonia! Lovely portraits! Great to see Meryl's smiling face and spirit at the end of your post. I admire her so much... I plan to see the movie soon.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Susie, easy from seed. When I say it, it's true. I have had more seed disasters than anyone;). They sprout and grow just like sunflowers.

Hi Sherri, I hadn't read the book. Julie P didn't hold my interest. Julia Child was the focus.

Hi Patsi, kind of like a cross between a zinnia and a sunflower;)

Hi Dawn, as a long time user of Clairol hair color, it was my first thought;) Julia Child's husband was indeed an interesting person. They seemed to have a wonderful relationship.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Tina. This spring was a disaster, many of my seeds didn't do well due to starting them indoors too early. I'm thinking about a cold frame.

Jann, I'm sure you will enjoy the movie.

Hi Marmee, can't say I'm a fan of Maryl Streep but she did a good job in this movie--Amy Adams too.

Hi Carol, I agree. Annuals give more color for a longer time than any perennial. Next year we need to follow thru and plant more.


Dog_geek said...

I'd like to see that movie if I can convince Mr. Geek - I love Meryl Streep, (although I can't imagine that I will be inspired to whip up some French cuisine. I doubt any mere movie could accomplish that feat!)

Kathleen said...

That looks like a great annual Marnie. I actually tried to start the tall tithonia from seed and didn't get it to germinate. Now I'm really sorry. The foliage looks so healthy. Definitely a winner. Glad it worked out for you. It certainly pays off to have some annuals. I try to add them with my containers (since my bed space is so limited) but don't feel bad, even those are not doing wonderful this year. Just too different of a summer.

I have been wanting to see Julie and Julia too! It looks like the kind of movie I really enjoy so thanks for the great review. Maybe my daughter and I can go today or tomorrow before she goes back to school on Monday.

btw, I ordered the cerinthe major purpurascens seeds from Thompson and Morgon. They were very easy to germinate in case you want to give them a try. I search high and low (various catalogs) for different plants to try every year. I don't know why I like the unusual?? Mostly I buy seeds and start them that way as it's hard to find anything unique at our local greenhouses/nurseries.

sweetbay said...

I love 'Torch' but it's true, it always falls over/ apart. There is no more vivid color than Tithonia in the garden.

I knew Julia Child was tall, but I didn't know she was 6' 2"!

A Wild Thing said...

I'm with ya on the disaster this spring. My brother sent me an article about buying our veggie plants from the big box stores like Walmart and Lowes, they have the diseases and are spreading them all over the country...and too, I haven't seen the variety of butterflies that I normally do...however I do see that yellow airplane dropping herbicide and pesticide in the fields all around me, it's a wonder we've survived as long as we have in this toxic soup we've allowed to proliferate... I lost another friend to brain cancer Monday...when will we learn!!!?

Have a great weekend, hope the storms didn't gitcha too bad yesterday! Just alotta rain here...lucky!

Anonymous said...

That looks like a great selection to me Marnie. The vibrant blooms at this time of the year are always appreciated. I've noticed a shortage of Monarchs this summer as well. It's been a weird season all & all. ;)

Gail said...

The tithonia is a wonderful color~~ How I forget about these amazing and beautiful annuals is beyond me! Someone needs to send reminders out ~~remember to plant more annuals~~

I am glad to hear the PPPP is doing well! It blooms in shade or sun!


Cheryl said...

Fiesta's are bright and colourful. Like you I always wish that I had planted more annuals....perhaps we should remind each other next year!!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi DogGeek, the food on this movie will drive you to do things you never expected. I HATE to cook but I really wanted to try some of the dishes. (We don't have a French restaurant locally;)

Hi Kathleen, I really want to try the cerinthe. There was something else on your site a while ago that I wanted to try also but now I can't find the post. I'll look again. My luck with seeds is horrible but still, I intend to try.

SweetBay, Maryl Streep towered over all the other actors. How did they do that? Yes Julia was 6'2".

Sharon, I hadn't heard the box store's veggies were diseased. I did know their hostas and some other ornamentals were. I'm sorry about your friend. We both know our lawmakers don't care about people. They make laws to enrich businessmen.

Hi Racquel, it has been a strange year but even before the numbers of monarchs is rapidly decreasing.

Gail, we will have to form a support group and help each other thru this annual thing each spring;)

Cheryl, that is an excellent idea. We will remind each other and help each other with the seed starting and hardening off. That will work.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Every year at this time I repeat the same lament over not planting more annuals. I must do this next spring also. When I see cosmos, tithonia, zinnias my heart just breaks becasue I don't get them into my garden. No excuses next year...

Chloe m said...

Hi Marnie,
Now I want to see J and J, thanks to your review.
The tithonia is a great orange, I bet you are glad you went to the effort to start from seeds.

ShySongbird said...

I've never heard of that particular bloom Marnie but what a gorgeous colour it is, just beautiful, so cheerful and your photos show it so well!

Meryl Streep is my favourite modern day actress (Bette Davis was my favourite actress of former years and I see a similarity between them) so I will look out for that film, anything which involves good food is a bonus ;)

BeadedTail said...

I always wish I planted more annuals too but maybe next year. Thanks for the movie review too. I'm hoping to see that movie soon.

troutbirder said...

What a gorgeous zinnia like flower. Wow! We will be going to the chick flic tomorrow but with Meryl in it I KNOW I WILL LOVE IT! Plus eating is my thing. :}

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the heads up on Fiesta tithonia, I'll certainly plant the more compact version next year too. But I think I'll still grow the big ones in place of my regular sunflowers. I'm always disapointed in how bad they look with the goldfinches chewing them up, and the leaves full of holes. My seashell cosmos keep growing and growing, but no flower to be seen. I'm disappointed.

Phillip Oliver said...

That is a beautiful flower. I saw the movie last weekend and I've been meaning to post about it. I really enjoyed it and I want to read her book "My Life in France".

beckie said...

Marnie, love the quote! Tithonia is new to me-but oh so pretty. I planted more annuals this year and enjoying them. Usually, I just do containers, but this year have several kinds spread around the gardens.

My niece has been telling me about Julie and Julie-she's so excited to go see it. I'll bet Meryl did a wonderful Julie. :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Lisa, late next winter we will start reminding each other about starting annuals;)

Rosey, it takes the tithonia a long time to bloom but they will continue until frost.

ShySongbird, guess I'm the only one who isn't a fan of Maryl Streep. Still, she did a good job in this movie.

Hi BeadedTail, you'll like the movie;)

Troutbirder, eating is my thing too. I love really good food.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Msrobin, I know what you mean about sunflowers. Mine always fall just about the time they start to bloom.

Phillip, you're such a good cook, I'll bet you did enjoy it. I should find the book too. She led a very interesting life.

Hi Beckie, I'll bet you're enjoying your annuals now when the garden is starting to fail.


Caroline said...

My daughters and son-in-law were hardly home from the movie theater when I got the phone call. "Get out your copy of Julia and please read me the recipe for crepes!" :o)

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Marnie, Thanks SO much for coming to my blog. I am enjoying yours. We have alot of the same followers. I have seen your name out there---and sometimes have confused it with another blog friend, Marmee.

I envy you in that 100 yr. old farm house in Northern Illinois. WOW--how special is that.

We didn't plant as many annuals this year either... Last year we had trouble with rabbits eating our Impatiens --so I didn't plant nearly as much. AND--what we did plant this year, along with our Vinca, hasn't done so well... Oh Well--there's always next year.

Love your Fiestas... Beautiful..
P.S. Please come back to my blog anytime.

Ashley said...

Beautiful flowers! Glad to hear the movie was good! I've been looking forward to seeing it. Enjoyed visiting your blog!

walk2write said...

I haven't even seen the movie, but I guess the idea of French cuisine must be working on my subconscious. I made a quiche for supper last night, and I usually don't bake much at all during the summer. The tithonia is a beauty and even more so for its hardiness. I am slowly but surely eliminating fussy plants from my garden. Maybe this one can fill in for the outcasts.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I planted annuals this year, but most of them have been a bust. The Zinnias & Cosmos still haven't bloomed yet. That makes your Tithonia sound even better.
I was just telling someone last week that there should be a "Julie & Julia" dinner as was done with the film "The Big Night." That way, we won't be pigging out on popcorn and still be dissatisfied.

garden girl said...

Love the orange blooms! Wish there were more bloooming annuals for shade.

For me Julia Child was most memorable when cooking with Jacques P├ępin. Their bickering was epic and hilarious!

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Jan said...

Dear Marnie, it has been far too long since I've stopped by to say hi! I just enjoyed my visit and looking through some of your recent posts. Your flowers are so lovely and it was nice to learn about some of them. That's something I need to try to include when I post. It does help make the post more interesting!
I went to Balisha's site after you mentioned her on another post, and found that she has a brain tumor. So I left her a message and I'm glad you sent me there because now I can send her prayers;-) I hope you are well, and I do love your blog and the verses and quotes you always include! Jan

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encantos said...

hi friend,
I saw the movie last week and I've been meaning to post about it. I really enjoyed it; a good movie...